One of the most surprising books I have ever read was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
I inhaled the book and later learned that it is actually quite controversial. Controversial always excites me as it signifies deep beliefs about something and I always like to learn and dig deeper. This message, however, is not about the book, but a way to introduce a very powerful quote that deeply resonated with me and helped me quit my full time job. It is a story of following the dream and getting lost — why do we do what we do and since when did we stop living?
Here is the quote from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand:
“…I don’t like the thing that’s happening to people, Miss Taggart.”
“I don’t know. But I’ve watched them here for twenty years and I’ve seen the change. They used to rush through here and it was wonderful to watch, it was the hurry of men who knew where they were going and were eager to get there. Now they’re hurrying because they are afraid. It’s not purpose that drives them, it’s fear. They’re not going anywhere, they’re escaping. And I don’t think they know what it is that they want to escape. They don’t look at one another. They jerk when brushed against. They smile too much, but it’s an ugly kind of smiling; it’s not joy, it’s pleading. I don’t know what it is that’s happening to the world.” He shrugged. “Oh, well, who is John Galt?”
I read this and I found myself in it. It was the truth: in the process of getting to where I thought I needed to be, I internalized the fear and assumed we are supposed to behave a certain way. I had lost the purpose and meaning for why I was doing what I was doing.
It ended up being a huge blessing since I became aware early on of what kind of life I was destined to live. Overworked, stressed out and believing that gadgets, expensive cars and luxurious vacations were a path to happiness.
I saw the truth (simple things actually make me happy) and was determined to make a change.
If this resonates with you, rejoice! This is an opportunity to choose something else and it starts with the intention to do so. It will not happen overnight — it took me years to create my ideal life, but the health, peace and true fulfillment I feel now is sooooooo worth it.
Then what the heck do I do?
1. Accept that it is so without guilt or judgment.
2. Try and understand why you got here in the first place. As an immigrant, I felt compelled to pursue and American dream and prove to others that I have “made it”
3. Is this how you want to live your life. If yes, go for it. If not — then:
4. What kind of life do you desire? What matters most? Is it money, status (could well be it and it is perfectly fine!), family, nature, harmony, travel, etc.
5. What stands in the way? Address all of the obstacles and see how they can be overcome.
6. Create a plan and start believing in the vision you have created for yourself. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
7. Create support system to help you achieve the life you desire.
8. Believe it is coming. I am here as living proof that it is possible.
So, have you read Atlast Shrugged? Do you find yourself driven by fear and not purpose? You can leave your comments below this post. Go get ‘em!